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Coronavirus: should brands turn to influence marketing?

Influence marketing strategy in the context of coronavirus

The research company Kantar recently published the results of its survey on consumer reactions in the context of a coronavirus pandemic. Among other things, it shows that people expect more committed brand marketing. This is easier said than done for companies, which fear that their marketing initiatives will be criticized for not being adapted to the pandemic context. Others are holding back on spending for fear that it will not pay for itself in future revenues.

However, there is still one area in which it makes sense to invest: influence marketing. Every day, influencers are becoming more and more prominent in the fight against the spread of the virus. Their role is definitely no longer limited to the distribution of promotional codes. Yet some, like the youtubeur Amixem, claim that partnerships are in free fall.

Does the coronavirus crisis imply abandoning influence marketing or investing in it by finding the right tone?

Influencers committed to the fight against the coronavirus

The international study conducted by Kantar in 2020 shows that one of the priorities of influencers is to have "...ethical behaviour towards followers”. This is notably the case for 57% of the French influencers. Before the COVID-19 crisis, this societal commitment often translated into ecological, feminist or humanitarian positions. However, the pandemic that has gripped the world since December 2019 is reshaping the priorities of influencers.

The coronavirus epidemic has indeed led several influencers to publish content aimed at encouraging containment. The World Health Organization jumped at the opportunity. The WHO thus launched the "Safe Hands Challenge"on Tik Tok. This challenge has encouraged international stars to film themselves washing their hands. In France, Influencers have also published videos advocating social distancing. or to encourage caregivers.

Coronavirus infecting infector
Enjoy phoenix, France's fourth most popular instagrammer, is committed to the fight against the epidemic.

This shows the scope of influencers when it comes to human and societal issues. Consumers trust influencers more than brands to embody this type of positioning. However, this does not mean that brands should totally disengage from influence marketing. On the contrary, they can use the current relevance of influencers to enhance their projects to help fight the pandemic. Influence marketing also encourages solidarity fundraising which companies are taking the initiative.

Also to be seen: Boost your visibility through the use of video

Influence marketing to entertain the epidemic

In addition to the ethical commitment that is clearly expected from influencers, consumers also expect - perhaps less consciously - from opportunities to forget the ongoing drama. In this sense, influencers who find the right tone to make people laugh at the situation, or to make them forget it, are also likely to see their popularity increase.

Such an expectation explains why the tutorial videos are still so popular. All the videos that aim to offer tips for better living the confinement therefore have a real potential for success. They can be culinary advice, educational advice, beauty advice, sports advice, or personal development. The themes to be explored in the context of containment are broad and can be invested by the brands.

According to theKantar studyIn addition, consumers do not expect brands to reduce their marketing initiatives because of the pandemic. As a result, most companies can continue to pursue sponsoring with influencers. The pandemic that is hitting the world is indeed affecting all sectors. All companies must therefore be able to continue to communicate with their customers. The only imperative, however, is to avoid going off course. The coronavirus should not be a marketing opportunity, and Consumers can't afford to make any mistakes. Influencing strategies must therefore be carefully thought out.

influence marketing and risk of bad buzz during coronavirus
The coronavirus health context implies increased risks of bad buzz and a greater need to control influence marketing. Influencer Kim Glow has recently lost several partnerships due to her controversial statements about coronavirus. The travel agency GoPromoVoyages announced on Instagram that it has terminated its partnership with the influencer.

Also to be seen: 5 effective strategies for gathering customer feedback

Influence marketing: focusing on humans during containment

Influencers are still personalities who appear close and accessible to their fans. This explains why they allow themselves to have engaged or offbeat editorial content on the coronavirus without necessarily being misunderstood. It is not the same for companies, which rarely have this human and emotional dimension.

To invest in influence marketing, two types of content are thus particularly available to brands at the moment. The Chinese platform Tik Tok is enjoying unprecedented success. Its downloads in the United States rose from 4.9 million in February to 6.2 million in March. Influencers there can develop fun videos, on which product placement is still possible.

To stay in the right tone, however, it's still easier to be in line with the trend of streaming live. Consumers appreciate the user-friendly aspect of the live in the context of containment. A discreet way, therefore, to remain visible for markings. Decathlon understands that. The sports equipment brand thus uses its partnership with the influential Emilie Détré to offer sports training in live videos on Instagram.

Decathlon's influence marketing during VIDOC-19
Décathlon continues its influence marketing with live videos hosted by the influential Emilie Détré.

à propos de l'auteur.e : Swann Le Moigne

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